Brandon Wendling will forever bear the scars left behind by a vicious animal attack.
On August 27, 2012, Brandon was reportedly at his father's home in Lafayette, Indiana. Also present was a dog, reportedly a pit bull, belonging to a family member.
Officers with the Lafayette Animal Control Department say the animal attacked Brandon, 5. Paramedics responded to the scene and transported him to a nearby hospital for treatment of nerve damage and other injuries.
Reports indicate that Brandon received 21 stitches, some to his face. Indications suggest that the animal's owner was issued only a warning, requiring that the pit bull be kept on a leashed or a in a fenced-in area.
Any further attacks would result in seizure of the animal. For his part, the owner has agreed to move the pet outside of the city, to a quieter location.
Sadly, Brandon's incident is far from unique. According to DogsBite (www.dogsbite.org), 12 children 4 years old and younger were killed in dog attacks from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2008. During the same time period, 19 children between 2 and 4 were killed.
Meanwhile, the American Humane Association reports that nearly 70 percent of all dog-bit victims are under 15 years old.
Many will find it disconcerting that the attacking dogs are rarely stragers. According to the American Humane Society, roughly two-thirds of attacks involving children occur in or near the family residence.
In many cases, teasing or unintentionally provoking an aggressive reaction from a dog leads to a bite, but occasionally an attack is unprovoked. That is why small children should never be left alone with a dog. Whether or not there is a dog in the family, parents need to teach their children how to behave around dogs.
Always seek immediately medical attention should a dog bite occur While uncommon, rabies makes dogs more aggressive and treatment options for human infection are limited.
No child deserves to be injured and no dog has the right to attack a human. The responsibility falls on the owner to keep his animal under control.
But parents should be cautioned to keep a watchful eye on children when dogs are present. Simply put, dogs are unpredictable, and its not worth risking the health, or life, of a vulnerable child.
If you or your child has been injured in an animal attack, contact an experienced Indiana dog bite attorney. At Keller & Keller you can receive a free consultation.